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Grandfathering incoming freshmen (current 8th graders) at both CSISD high schools

CS_Aggie
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From a friend's Facebook post:

"You belong here!" This is the school motto for the new Welborn Middle School. Last Thursday I attended the last Leadership CSISD meeting and was wowed by the message delivered by the new principal. It was nothing less than superb. I invite you all to watch her video reflecting her vision at WMS, http://wms.csisd.org/apps/video/ .

The new principal used the analogy of not wanting her students to feel like a small fish in a big pond. She gets it! I would like to ask the current CSISD leadership and School Board, do they get it? Do they want to tell the class of 2022 (current 8th graders currently facing rezoning) that "You belong herebut only for a year"? Do they want to tell them they get to be a small fish in a big pond, not once but twice? Telling them that they can "opt" to shift schools for the fall of 2018 is insulting. In doing so you are also telling them they don't deserve to be a cheerleader, on a dance team, try out for band placement and numerous other high school experiences the rest of their peers will have the option to do. This too will cause further division. The timing of the rezoning does not allow for this change with this age group because many of the tryouts and signups for these activities are currently taking place already for next year. The truth is the school district failed these kids by not postponing everything, including high school registration that took place just 2 short months ago.

Luke walked the halls of his currently zoned high school on February 5th and turned in his schedule request February 13th. Why didn't leadership hit the pause button on all of this? Why did the recommendation to rezone come just weeks after the 8th grade class turned in their schedules for next year? This decision should have been made fall of 2017 when the data was received. This would have allowed the kids affected the ability to prepare for the correct high school, before schedules were turned in, 4-year academic plans made, and extracurricular activities planned for and tried out for. Surely our message to the affected kids should not be that they are simply the casualty of poor planning by the administration and school board.

Ultimately both high schools are great and if our twin 5th graders rezone we will support the school they go to. They have time to prepare their path either way. However, the timing of this for current 8th grade is asinine. Uncertainty and yo-yo rezoning will only lead to disengagement and loss of parental support in all areas. Who wants to commit to PTO, booster clubs, sponsorship, or volunteering when your kid may or may not be rezoned yet again or stay for only a year. The reality is that parents want to invest in the school where their child is enrolled, but our CSISD schools need to also invest in the families they serve. Please don't forget this part.

**Negative comments toward either high school are not welcome. Our kids should take pride in them both. However it is mid April and they also deserve to know where they will be enrolled for high school for the next 4 years.
kraut
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Blue star for you! Our 8th grader is in the same boat - we just want to know one way or the other so we have time to figure out a new schedule for this fall '18.

Not sending the little cabbage to one high school for freshman year, only to move to the other for sophomore year.
1.618
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"This decision should have been made fall of 2017 when the data was received. This would have allowed the kids affected the ability to prepare for the correct high school, before schedules were turned in, 4-year academic plans made, and extracurricular activities planned for and tried out for."

Just wondering out loud here how a a kid "prepares" for the correct high school? I'm serious. How exactly is this done? If a child moves to the district in the summer from someplace like Houston, have they prepared for the correct high school? Can they not try out for choir or band placement once they are registered in the district? I seem to recall new kids being added to both these programs (as well as football and baseball) when my oldest was in high school.
patmorgan235
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When 8th graders registrar for classes for the first time they normally sit down with an adviser from the high school to help them deiced what courses they want to take for their full 4 years. If you move a couple hundred students between the schools then you have to redo a lot of that work, granted a lot of it will probably be the same but some course or programs the student really wanted to do may not be offered at both campuses.
MTTANK
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It's a shame what they are doing. Rezoning will continue to happen very often, as long as they are zoning for free lunch and SES demographics. Over 99% of other texas districts zone for proximity, there is a reason for this. It might not help your 8th grader, but others concerned with continuity for their kids education should take a look at the new charter school. They will never rezone students. Because of all this it's filling up fast, and already full for kindergarten. I wish everyone's families the best through this rezoning, its tough to witness.
GIG 'EM
BigBubba
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I think the board is open to this possibility but only if the numbers work. They have a general idea on what they would like to do but nothing is concrete yet. In fact, there is no guarantee that current freshman won't have to move. The original goal that was outlined is that no kid would have to switch high schools while in high school. That is a pretty fair goal. Not perfect, but very fair.

Their main focus and goal right now is too look for a rezoning plan that works for the next 10 years until the next high school is predicted to be needed. I believe they are all highly frustrated that they are having to rezone right now just a few years after the last. Once they have a plan that they hope will last 10 years, THEN they are going to make official decisions on how to handle grandfathering.

If the numbers show that they can allow 8th graders to be grandfathered, then they will do it. But, if they numbers show that even allowing 9th graders to be grandfather is going to cause severe issues then don't be surprised if 9th graders have to switch.

Edit to add: I would but they end up allowing 8th graders to grandfather but they don't want to promise that now. If they went ahead and said that now, then the 7th grade parents would start asking about grandfathering.
patmorgan235
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I see the argument for zoning for SES and I think it can improve the out learning out comes for students but it shouldn't be the primary consideration for zoning. It its a you can balance SES with a marginal change to the zoning go ahead but if you have to bus students across town its probably not worth it.
3rd Generation Ag
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This is interesting because the trend in the place where I am is to do away with most attendance boundaries. The schools are named some type of academy with a special focus and open enrollment during a time window. Elementary, middle high schools. If a school fills, then students must accept a second or third choice. These specialized schools seem to be a popular answer to losing enrollment to charter schools.
EastSideLowlife
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[We have already warned you about making this an East / West / North / South argument on this board. This subject is highly charged and we are not going to let threads get derailed. -Staff]
MTTANK
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[If a quote doesn't belong on a thread please don't quote it, just vote against it. Thank you. -Staff]
BigBubba
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MTTANK said:

It's a shame what they are doing. Rezoning will continue to happen very often, as long as they are zoning for free lunch and SES demographics. Over 99% of other texas districts zone for proximity, there is a reason for this. It might not help your 8th grader, but others concerned with continuity for their kids education should take a look at the new charter school. They will never rezone students. Because of all this it's filling up fast, and already full for kindergarten. I wish everyone's families the best through this rezoning, its tough to witness.
How about we keep the charter school out of this post also? Go to the other post to discuss your pros/cons about charter school.
AggieMom_38
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What a great post CS_Aggie. Please tell your friend that many in the community are praying the board and administrators do the right thing for these kids. This is an element of the rezoning process that I'd hope everyone could get behind and support. It also affects the 8th graders being carved out from the north (currently zoned to Consol) that will be forced to move to CSHS simply because they are economically disadvantaged. Can you imagine that message - you are poor/low SES, so now you must go to another school because there are too many poor kids here at Consol. So, again, would hope this is an issue we could all get behind and support and tell the board/admin that these are not just numbers, these are kids
1.618
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I understand the 4 year academic planning sheet. I thought there might be something that I missed out on. I've gotten 2 of my 3 kids through CSISD high schools. Thankfully my 7th grader is not melting down over the current re-zoning. I suspect that it is because her parents are not melting down but I will admit that she might just be a well adjusted kid who is flexible enough to adapt all on her own.

There are literally a handful of classes that are offered at one high school that are not offered at the other and vice versa. If your child wants to be in one of those tracks, you apply to the program. It is not a big deal.

If your child wants to be in band or orchestra or choir or football or soccer or baseball or whatever extracurricular, they still can be in those programs even after tryouts are complete. It is not like they say your kid has to wait a year until the next year tryouts occur.

For those of you who need to know what the plan is in advance, I wish you all well as college selection time rolls around. That senior year might be rough as you might not even know what all the options are for your child until Feb or even March of their senior year! And then, you will have to wait for an 18 year old to make a decision...which might take all of April if they have some great options.
BigBubba
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AggieMom_38 said:

It also affects the 8th graders being carved out from the north (currently zoned to Consol) that will be forced to move to CSHS simply because they are economically disadvantaged. Can you imagine that message - you are poor/low SES, so now you must go to another school because there are too many poor kids here at Consol.
This was discussed in the last board meeting. Surprisingly, the low SES parents frequently are OK with this. When you move low income kids from a non-bused area into a bused area, their attendance rate goes up. These families don't always have reliable transportation so when the weather is horrible they end up staying home instead of walking a mile to school in the rain. If they have reliable bus transportation, then they end up still going to school. One of the board members mentioned that during the last rezoning they actually had one of these parents come to a meeting to state their preference to get rezone to an area that forces their kids to ride the bus.

Stupe
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If they don't at least give the current 8th graders the option of grandfathering, it will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that "what is best for the kids" is waaaay down the list of what is important to the board.
02skiag
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Agreed, they need to figure this out for the 8th graders. Unless a brand new school is being opened there is no good reason they should start at one and end at another. Kids can adjust but this situation is just silly.

TaterTot_09
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Great point BigBubba!!! Maybe you should start calling all the districts that don't practice bussing poor students away from their home campus. Wait, that would be nearly every school district in the entire state that you would have to call. It's amazing csisd's zoning tactics are such a slam dunk and so helpful, but nearly no one is doing it. I guess everyone else is the idiot. I feel bad for all those schools zoning for proximity and giving students continuity in their education.
AggieMom_38
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I was at the meeting too - and one board member recalled talking to one low SES parent last rezone (presumably the first time she actually talked to a low SES parent) to offer the anecdote that because this mom was happy, low SES kids like it. Great way to make policy decisions, Board Trustees! Again, we can spin it however we want... but poor kids are being moved out because they are poor.
BigBubba
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TaterTot_09 said:

Great point BigBubba!!! Maybe you should start calling all the districts that don't practice bussing poor students away from their home campus. Wait, that would be nearly every school district in the entire state that you would have to call. It's amazing csisd's zoning tactics are such a slam dunk and so helpful, but nearly no one is doing it. I guess everyone else is the idiot. I feel bad for all those schools zoning for proximity and giving students continuity in their education.
Lighten up Tot, I was just sharing what was said in the meeting. It was a perspective I never heard.

I also asked a friend that works in school demographics. In his opinion at the lower levels it is better to zone based on proximity to create "neighborhood schools" but at the high school level you need to balance things. High schools are not neighborhood schools because they cover much larger areas. If you don't do more to balance high schools then you definitely end up with a good school vs bad school situation.
BigBubba
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The whole "zoning based on proximity" was also covered during last meeting. Here is a link that has maps and numbers showing how that works out: https://1.cdn.edl.io/Kxm0XEmvyIfpduGUndkQOMMak95vzpHuzxtriG3742tn9n25.pdf

Basically, if they try to just send every kid to the closest school then next year:
  • CONSOL would be at 60% capacity
  • CSHS would be at 120% capacity.

And the numbers get worse 10 years from now:
  • CONSOL would still only be at 78% capacity
  • CSHS would be at 170% capacity (133% capacity with the expansion)

THE NUMBERS DON'T WORK. WE CAN'T SEND ALL THE KIDS TO THE CLOSEST SCHOOL.
BigBubba
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AggieMom_38 said:

Again, we can spin it however we want... but poor kids are being moved out because they are poor.
I don't think anyone is trying to spin anything. In fact, board policy specifically states that they will "Provide for a comparable demographic balance of students". Yes, they are being move because they are poor.

You can read the guidelines here: https://pol.tasb.org/Policy/Download/224?filename=FC(LOCAL).pdf
ChiefHaus
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There is not a plan out there that will not require rezoning in the next 10 years. The board is chasing money to shove into Consol. The families will continue to shift over time to the new school zones. People who move here are going to move to CSHS neighborhoods. Rezoning every 2-3 years won't change that. Recent history has proved this to be true. Relying on growth to stock AMCHS will not work.
1.618
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The board is trying to best utilize the existing facilities. I appreciate that. They are not looking to add a third high school early to fix an overcrowding issue that we have---they are rezoning to fully utilize both high schools and they are doing it with an eye toward balancing the student population.

Alternatively, they could be looking at adding a ton of portable buildings at CSHS or using non-classrooms for classrooms or getting waivers to load up the existing classrooms but they have chosen to rezone and move some kids to Consol. Good call, in my opinion.

Now where to draw the line on grandfathering? Grandfather the current 8th graders? Maybe. But what about the 7th graders? They are already in middle school. Don't they deserve to know where they are going to high school as much as the 8th graders? So if you say grandfather the 8th why not grandfather the 7th graders too? Because then someone will want the current 6th graders grandfathered. You are not going to please everyone. These board members are volunteers and they spend a ton of time to make decisions that are often unpopular to at least a few people.

I eagerly await the next school board filing period to see how many of you are willing to step up and do a thankless job. Run for the office. Do the work. Show your kids how it is done.
ChiefHaus
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We don't have an overcrowding issue. They project an overcrowding issue. They also projected they would not have to rezone until 2023 and they are rezoning in 2018.

They are putting a band-aid on moving kids to Consol, and they will be redrawing lines entirely for the third HS. All of plan 2b+ which is the plan they currently favor, live near the site earmarked for the third HS. So finding 2600 kids to put at AMCHS after we have 3 HS will be interesting.

The difference between the 8th graders and grandfathering the below grades is stark this late in the school year. Mainly because these kids thought they were going to one school and now today they don't know where they are going. They most likely won't know for another couple of weeks minimum. To an adult it is a tad absurd, there are more important issues. To a 14-year-old kid who has spent a number of years on "purple track" it is a big deal. When the board zoned the middle schools for separate high schools they created an ownership for the kids at each school that was tied to the corresponding HS.

People volunteer for all kinds of things, some more than others. I reject the idea that being on the school board is a thankless job. Like any voluntary job, it has both good and bad parts.
gettingitdone
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Looks like the votes are in and there will be no grandfathering for 8th graders
BigBubba
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I will be curious to watch the video and see what the discussion was regarding grandfathering. I noticed the vote was 5-2 to allow current high school kids to be grandfathered. This means 2 board members wanted NO grandfathering. The vote was 2-5 against grandfathering 8th graders.
Stupe
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Quote:

I will be curious to watch the video and see what the discussion was regarding grandfathering. I noticed the vote was 5-2 to allow current high school kids to be grandfathered. This means 2 board members wanted NO grandfathering. The vote was 2-5 against grandfathering 8th graders.
The ONE thing that everyone agreed that should be done, these people voted against.
kraut
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Stupe said:

Quote:

This means 2 board members wanted NO grandfathering.
The ONE thing that everyone agreed that should be done, these people voted against.
That's not what happened. The first vote that failed 2-5 was to grandfather incoming 9th graders on up. The second vote that passed 5-2 was to grandfather incoming 10th graders on up only. The 2 that voted against the second motion wanted 8th graders included in the grandfathering.

Edited for spelling
Stupe
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The eighth graders is what I'm referring to.

I haven't spoken to a single person from either school that thought those kids shouldn't be grandfathered.

I didn't realize that most of the quote didn't post.
kraut
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Gotcha. I just wanted to clarify that the two who registered no votes on the grandfathering vote did so because they wanted 8th graders to be included. That wasn't clear in the discussion above.
Stupe
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Will the video of the vote be made public or will an FOI have to be filed.

I would like to know how the two that are up for election in November voted on grandfathering.
MTTANK
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They want to make it harder to appeal the zoning. They are forcing these 8th graders to move to a different school, so the by the time anyone is able to do anything it will be that much harder to reverse the zoning. I think its time for our community to stand up for these 58 kids, because the school board refuses to. #FATEOF58
GIG 'EM
Tigermom84
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Barret and Nugent are up for reelection this year. Barret voted against grandfathering 8th graders, Nugent was one of the 2 left standing that WANTED to grandfather 8th (Nugent and Schaefer). Rumor is that Barret won't seek reelection. That seat will be open if she doesn't seek it. Another rumor is that the board wants the lady that ran against Schaefer in the last election and lost by 60 votes.

They made it clear last night that everything they were doing was all about taxpayers. Barret kept saying that. What about the children? Who's watching out for them?
Wicked Good Ag
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I was surprised about the non grandfathering. I knew not everyone would be happy with any decision the board finally came to however I fully expected this late for them to grandfather in since most had gone on field trips to the school and created schedules. Our daughter was zoned for Consol out of CSMS this year so we knew she was in the 18% and that didn't change (which we knew likely wouldn't). As someone said it is a thankless job to which you know a rezoning may cost you friends. Not sure I would want to spend my money running for a job like this
As for the tracks of purple and maroon that went out the window or we knew it would with the third middle school opening in the fall. It had a 82/18% split already I think

Tough call on the grandfather issue. Figured it would happen at the 8th grade level as well
Stupe
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Wicked Good Ag said:


Tough call on the grandfather issue. Figured it would happen at the 8th grade level as well
I completely disagree with you on that.

It should not have been a tough call on that group of students given the time frame of notification.
They should be given the choice of moving or staying and not the full of crap "choice" of going to a school one year and then being forced to move as a sophomore or completely changing their schedule in APRIL OR MAY after they have already toured the school and made decisions on class schedules

The options that could have been given:
  • Go to the new school as a freshmen
  • Go to the school currently zoned as a freshman and then change as a sophomore
  • Go to the school currently zoned as a freshman and stay but provide your own transportation
At least give them the option.

Had they announced this stuff last fall when they knew it was coming, it would have given parents time to make a decision on which school to do tours, scheduling, team tryouts, and everything else.

The board did this on short notice so they could push it through quickly without giving parents time to argue their case in public hearings.
It's pathetic and proves that the "what is best for the kids" line is a load of manure.

That is coming from a person that isn't even being affected by the 8th grade decision.
 
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